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Posted May 29, 2008
Health Care

Canadians want public, not private, services: New Nanos poll

OTTAWA - A new national study shows a majority of Canadians trust their municipal government more than private corporations to deliver public services.

Respondents to the survey - conducted by Nanos Research for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - were given nine public services and asked who they would trust more to provide the service: their municipal government and its employees or a private corporation.

A majority of Canadians said they trust their municipal government more for all nine public services: sewage treatment (75.8%), drinking water treatment and delivery (75.5%), community and social services (75.1%), maintenance and upkeep of parks (69.4%), public transit (68.6%), road maintenance (64.7%), garbage and recycling services (64.6%), recreation facilities such as rinks and swimming pools (64.5%), and electricity generation and distribution (60.6%).

73.7% of Canadians said that they believed municipalities should provide and operate public services on a not-for profit basis over for-profit corporations providing and operating municipal services.

"These results confirm that what CUPE has been fighting for all along is what Canadians want," says Paul Moist, CUPE national president. "We have to keep pushing all levels of government to protect the public services Canadians value in public hands."

The same study found the vast majority of Canadians agreed (87.6%) or somewhat agreed (9.0%) that public services like drinking water, sewage treatment, garbage and recycling services, road maintenance, and recreation facilities play an essential role in their community. "Support generally cut across all regions and the intensity of support was notably high in Ontario, Western Canada, and Atlantic Canada."

"Municipal governments facing pressure from the Harper government to privatize public services should be bolstered by the results of this poll," adds Moist. "People clearly prefer their public services delivered by democratic local governments and workers."

A total of 1,004 random telephone interviews were conducted across Canada between May 7th and 11th, 2008 by Nanos Research. The survey of 1,004 randomly-selected individuals is accurate +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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